Disaster Management at MCGM – Mumbai

CaptureThe MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) has created a Greater Mumbai Disaster Management Authority (GMDMA) which is doing wonderful work for the last several years.

Please visit their website at http://dm.mcgm.gov.in/ for resources on the following :

  1. Live Updates on weather, rainfall, high-tides, diversion of traffic, rail schedules
  2. Complete List – Ward-wise – on whom to contact in an emergency (including phone nos., mobile nos., email ids, etc.)
  3. Training Programs on Disaster Preparedness and First Responders
  4. Standard Operating Procedure Manual
  5. Mock Drill procedure
  6. And many more resources

They also have a mobile app – Disaster Management MCGM – https://goo.gl/omklFo which gives live updates on your mobile

Very useful resources by MCGM for unforeseen circumstances


Just Do It!

This Residential Community Saved a Lake, Recharged Groundwater and Is Planting 1000 Trees Every Year

Here is how a residential community in Bangalore, Akshaya Nagara, has created an enviable living environment for its residents.

Akshaya Nagara is a rather unassuming residential layout in Bangalore. It did not even fall under the Bengaluru metropolitan civic body, BBMP, until recently. This means it did not receive any of the public facilities like water supply, sewage drain pipes or garbage collection service that other residential areas receive. Even today, Akshaya Nagara is not a beneficiary of the centralised Cauvery water supply and is solely dependent on bore wells.

However, the residents of Akshaya Nagara decided not to lament about these issues or wait for the authorities to solve their problems. They took it upon themselves to find sustainable solutions and create an enviable living environment for themselves.

It was over a decade ago that the ground work for the development of Akshaya Nagara began. The layout had a rare blessing – a lake. But it could not really be called a blessing then. Although the lake has historical relevance from the times of Begur royalty and is located at the heart of the layout, it was filthy because all the sewage water from the layout used to flow into it. It was also a spot for open defecation. In fact, the stench, filth and overgrown weeds made the lake and its surroundings so unbearable that it was on the verge of being abandoned. But the scenario was totally reversed by the dedicated work of the residents of Akshaya Nagara.

In 2004, a retired bank official named Ramesh Kumar began mobilising interest among the residents about the need to save the lake and the surrounding environment.

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Ramesh Kumar speaking to the residents of Akshaya Nagara

The first aim was to stop all sewage from getting dumped into the lake. Since Akshaya Nagara was not part of BBMP, it was not eligible for any funds from the civic body. The residents decided to build the sewage drains by themselves. Every house contributed towards the fund and the job was begun. The local MLA could not help but notice the dedication of these residents and decided to help them with the funds.

The newly laid pipes helped ensure there was no more sewage flow from Akshaya Nagara layout into the lake.

Akshaya Nagara Kere

Akshaya Nagara Lake

After this big achievement, the residents went on to the next pressing issue – water supply. The layout’s water supply depends entirely on bore wells. Ramesh Kumar and his team were convinced that the underground water reserves need to be replenished constantly. They started building storm water drains to channelise the water into the lake. They also dug up over 60 rain water pits near the layout, specially layered using charcoal and sand, so that the rain water percolated into the ground.

Most of the buildings in the layout practise rain water harvesting. “We save every drop of water in Akshaya Nagara and ensure that our bore wells are recharged. Even during this peak summer, none of our bore wells failed us,” says Ramesh Kumar.

Over the last decade, the population of Akshaya Nagara increased and maintaining the lake became difficult. The lake again attracted weeds, debris, garbage and, of course, open defecation.

Last year, a few youngsters saw a lone old man clearing a dirty patch of land near the Akshaya Nagara lake. It was Ramesh Kumar. Curious as to what he was doing and why, they started to talk to him. He told them, “I want to save this lake.” The youngsters were so inspired by his dedication that they decided to start efforts anew to revive the water body.

They formed a team of volunteers and named it ‘Akshaya Nagara Kere Sutta Mutta’, meaning, ‘Akshaya Nagara Lake and its surroundings’.

Volunteers of Akshaya Nagara Kere Sutta Mutta

Ramesh Kumar with the volunteers of Akshaya Nagara Kere Sutta Mutta

Volunteers from the layout got together every week. They cleaned the lake, de-weeded it and fenced it.

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Volunteers de-weeding the lake

They levelled the land around the lake to make a beautiful walking path. They said no to concrete blocks for the path and decided to keep the natural mud trail. They planted saplings all along the lakeside and installed benches for people to sit on. As a result of their hard work, the area has been completely transformed.

Today, over 400 people walk and jog around Akshaya Nagara lake every day! A yoga class is held on the lakeside.

Akshaya Nagara Kere7

Over the last 12 years, the residents have been planting trees in Akshaya Nagara. The tree-to-person ratio in Akshaya Nagara is 1:1 – one tree for every resident, while the Karnataka state tree-to-person ratio is 1:6.

The volunteers planted 1000 trees in the last one year. They have committed to planting another 1000 trees every year in the area around Akshaya Nagara.

Akshaya Nagara Kere4

Every week, the residents of this layout devote their time and efforts to maintaining the Akshaya Nagara lake. But they are not stopping at this – they have started working to save the next lake in the vicinity, Yelenahalli lake!

Catch up with the activities of Akshaya Nagara Kere Sutta Mutta on their Facebook Page

Like this story? Have something to share? Email: contact@thebetterindia.com, or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). To get positive news on WhatsApp, just send ‘Start’ to 090 2900 3600 via WhatsApp.

http://www.thebetterindia.com/61311/akshaya-nagara-bangalore-save-lake-recharge-groundwater-plant-trees/


DIY guide to RTI

RTI logo - GavelHere is the link to a Handy Do It Yourself (DIY) guide to RTI. You have various formats, including RTI in local languages, Standard RTI and appeal forms, rules, GRs, Guidelines, Articles by Shailesh Gandhi and other resources.

Must read for RTI activists and great help for the common man who wants RTI to improve Society and his own administration

Click Here for the great resources, painstakingly compiled and owned by G R Vora


Who can file an FIR

Who can lodge an F.I.R ?
1) Complainant who is an aggrieved person or some body on his behalf.

2) By any person who is aware of the offence (a) as an eye witness and (b) as an hearsay account.

3) Provided the person in possession of the hearsay is required to subscribe his signautre to it and mention the source of his information so that it does not amount to irresponsible rumour. The rule of law is, if general law is broken any person has a right to complain whether he has suffered an injury or not.
(a) By the accused himself.
(b) By the SHO on his own knowledge or information even when a cognizable offence is committed in view of a officer incharge he can register a case himself and is not bound to take down in writing any information. Under the order of Magistrate uls 156 (3) Criminal Procedure code, when a complaint is forwarded to officer incharge without taking cognizance. If information is only hear say, then SHO should register case only if person in posses- sion of hearsay subscribes his signature to it and mentions the source of his information so that it does not amount to irresponsible rumour. The information must be definite, not vague, authentic, not baseless, gossip or rumour, clearly making out a cognizable case.

4) The information is only by a medical certificate or doctor’s ruqqa about arrival of the injured, then he (SHO) should enter it in daily diary and go to hospital for recording detailed statement of injured.

 

For more FAQs on F I R – Click Here


Emergency medicines while travelling by Train in India

WHILE TRAVELLING BY TRAIN WITHIN INDIA, IF YOU REQUIRE ANY blog-emergency-kit-mainMEDICINES IN AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CONTACT ME. IT WILL BE PROVIDE AT THE NEXT STATION AT NO COST. Vijay Mehta 09320955005
About 400 Railway Stations throughout India.
Since Mr. Vijay Mehta is an old acquaintance of ours, we are forwarding the message in public interest. We  have verified the above message. In case you are unable to contact Mr. Vijay Mehta, please call us on +91 9821388829 or 022-66306699.
We shall assist you in getting in touch with him.
Thank you,
Team Penguin Holidays
Darayus B. Kabraji

Stamp Duty on Gift of Property in Maharashtra

W.e.f. 24 April 2015, new provisions have been formulated for giving relief of Stamp Duty in case of Gift.

For locations outside Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban, LBT Tax @ 1% of market value will be applicable.

For detailed explanation and examples, please visit

http://e-stampdutyreadyreckoner.com/Gift.html


The pure water solution

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Piramal Sarvajal gets potable, safe H2O to places it’s really needed for as little as 20 paise per litre
Why would the Piramal Group, largely associated with healthcare, want to do something in the seemingly un connected space of water access and purity?
Because pure water represents the bedrock on which all health care delivery is based.When you think of it, there are so many instances of places where water ­ the pure and drinking kind should be available but isn’t. And that is how Piramal Sarvajal was conceived, around the terribly ambitious programme to provide universal potable water for all in 2008.The programme was timed not a day too soon.The more you think of it, the lack of access to potable water is the genesis of a number of modern day issues. In areas where pure water is not easily accessible, there is a question mark over food quality. In areas where water is not an arm’s length away, the one assigned to fetch it is usually the woman of the family (translating into the other problem of economic inequity and disempowerment). In areas where potable water is infrequently supplied, there is high medical expenditure with lower month-end surpluses available for reinvestment.In areas where water availability is low, the neighbourhood squabbles (over whose bucket should gain precedence) are high.These are some of the things I like about Piramal Sarvajal.

One, the programme does not profess that it knows all the answers; it partners with local entrepreneurs, corporations supporting social projects, the government and philanthropic organisations to provide local solutions (pun!). The result is that partners provide funding, while Piramal Sarvajal deploys decentralised units based on parameters like population density and local water quality.One comes with the cash, the other comes with knowledge, kickstarting implementation.

Two, the programme addresses the dearth of water not where it is most convenient, such as underserved urban pockets; instead it addresses villages, slums, schools, hospitals and public spaces.

Three, the programme has achieved some scale; it commissioned community drinking water solutions in more than 200 villages in partnership with local entrepreneurs, corporate donors and gram panchayat.

Four, the programme addresses purification in pockets where water is available; it commissioned sponsor-funded purification units in more than 70 schools (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka).

Five, the programme has progressively extended to deficient urban public places, working with the government in selected resettlement areas around New Delhi where piped drinking water is simply not available and where residents are completely dependent on tankers; the result is a hub-and-spoke driven 24×7 access to safe drinking water.

Six, this is not a free hand-down; users are educated on the payback benefits of safe water access and then charged; the water revenue covers operational costs, making it possible for donor-sponsored locations to sell water for as low as 20 paise per litre (our packaged branded equivalent is available for Rs 20 per litre).

Seven, Piramal Sarvajal pioneered the remote monitoring of water purification machines and the concept of a water ATM. Through the combination of these technologies, Sarvajal not only maintains the machine and water quality but also ensures maximum uptime with the help of solarpowered water ATMs, ensuring 24×7 safe water availability regardless of power availability.

Eight, Piramal Sarvajal has commissioned a service centre to provide maintenance and community level marketing services every 20-30 units, ensuring that high uptime is not compromised by the repair technician turning up after a fortnight.

Nine, the patented technology was developed in-house; besides, the programme has emerged as a livelihood driver for about 1,000 individuals through Piramal Sarvajal water network, who earn more than their average local incomes.

The numbers are remarkable: the programme serves approximately 300,000 consumers each day through 500 plus installations across13 states.

The effect has been even more remarkable.Laxmi Devi of Laxmangarh village in Rajasthan gets 40 litres of water every day for her household of seven. Her verdict: “The present has put the power in our hands in the form of an ATM card.“

Arthritic 50-year-old Khurshid Bano of Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) has a lot to thank Sarvajal for.The district suffers high fluoride levels in water, causing fluorosis and joint pains, weakened bones and yellowed teeth. Ever since she subscribed to Sarvajal, her pain has subsided and she saves Rs 1,500 of what was earlier being spent in medication costs each month.

Housewife Kavitaji (200 m from Sarvajal’s office in Sawda Ghevra JJ Colony) feels Sarvajal has been a life-changer. Her seven month daughter encountered severe diarrhoea resulting in a Rs 5,000 hospital bill. When the doctor wrote out a prescription, he scribbled `Sarvajal’. Kavitaji started buying 15 litres a day for the family. The family health improved; the housewife turned evangelist and convinced 11 families in the neighbourhood to subscribe as well, renaming her bylane as `Sarvajal gali.’ If only Piramal Sarvajal could take this concept to other corporations to fund drinking water unit in their own neighbourhoods…


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